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Motown to Release 'Lost' Album 'Diana Ross Sings Songs from THE WIZ', 11/27

Motown to Release 'Lost' Album 'Diana Ross Sings Songs from THE WIZ', 11/27Euweb.com reports that a "lost" album of Diana Ross performing songs from the 1978 big screen adaptation of THE WIZ will be released on November 27th.

According to the site, in 1978 Motown Records recorded an album of all the music from the film adaptation which starred Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor and more. The project was set to be released in 1979 as a companion piece to the film's original soundtrack album, produced by the legendary Quincy Jones. After the movie was panned by critics and did poorly at the box office, Motown decided to cancel the release of the album.

Now however, as NBC prepares to air a live broadcast of THE WIZ, starring such luminaries as Mary J. Blige and Queen Latifah, new interest and excitment for the 70's film version has emerged and Motown Universal has decided to release the album for the very first time on November 27th.

The new release includes "a beautiful booklet with never-before-published photos of Ross, and a new essay written by the reissue's producers Andrew Skurow, George Solomon, and Harry Weinger."

Read the article in full here

THE WIZ was a collaboration between Motown Productions and Universal Pictures, and was an urban reimagining of L. Frank Baum's classic 1900 children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz featuring an entirely African-American cast. The Wiz was loosely adapted from the 1974 Broadway musical of the same name.

The film follows the adventures ofDorothy, a shy twenty-four-year-old Harlem, New York, schoolteacher who finds herself magically transported to the Land of Oz, which resembles an alternative fanstasy version of the Big Apple. Befriended by a Scarecrow, a Tin Man, and a Cowardly Lion, she travels through the city to seek an audience with the mysterious Wiz, who they say is the only one powerful enough to send her home.

Produced by Rob Cohen and directed by Sidney Lumet, The Wiz starred Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Mabel King, Theresa Merritt, Thelma Carpenter, Lena Horne, and Richard Pryor. The film's story was reworked from William F. Brown's Broadway libretto by Joel Schumacher, and Quincy Jones supervised the adaptation of Charlie Smalls and Luther Vandross's songs for film. A handful of new songs, written by Jones and the songwriting team of Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson, were added for the film version. Upon its original theatrical release, The Wiz was a critical and commercial failure. However, despite its initial failure, the film version of The Wiz went on to become a cult classic, particularly among African-American audiences, Oz enthusiasts, and fans of Michael Jackson. [source]

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